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Hi Cowriles,

Don't ever lose your sense of humor! We can't afford to.

My doctor has me on brand name minocycline ($225) because he believes that it's better absorbed than generic - a greater amount gets into the bloodstream. I did a search and found a site where other dermatologists seemed to agree.

Anyway, before starting this treatment, my acne consisted of mostly clogged pores, blackheads, and at any given time, maybe 5 or 6 pimples which usually got infected and took forever to heal. In raking light (from the side), the texture was very bumpy. Because I have olive skin, I tend toward hyperpigmentation, so I have quite a few brown spots.

The first week on this treatment I only noticed some drying maybe a little flakey skin around my nose. By the 2nd wk, I was getting pretty flakey and these tiny whiteheads started appearing. They were more concentrated around my jaw and chin but also appeared here and there overall. I made the mistake of trying to exfoliate with a washcloth. My skin has definitely gotten thinner and I managed to create what looked like burns in several locations. Don't do this! The good news is that the whiteheads look terrible but heal fairly quickly. The bad news is there are more of them the next day. This past week (3rd wk), my forehead and cheeks near the jawline and closer to hairline began to peel and is now revealing some smoother skin. I'm not breaking out in those areas hardly at all. It seems that the pores are clearer. It's still reddish and blotchy but I think it looks like it could be getting better. I use the aspirin mask (you may have read about it on this board) once a day and it does help settle the redness down. For the really red spots, I use the Visine treatment (it really does take the red out!) I have taken a day off the Retin-A once or twice just to give my face a rest. The T-zone area is still pretty bad though and unfortunately is so front and center - I can't hide it with my hair!

I hope this doesn't scare you too much. I would love know how long this heavy breakout stage lasts though. It's much easier to tolerate something when there's a light at the end of the tunnel. I've been dealing with acne for so long now that I tend to be skeptical about any treatment. But I did a search on this message board for retin-A micro and did see alot of positive responses.

Cowriles, have faith and keep me posted on your progress!

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